Deaths attributable to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) every year. Figure adapted from (Jim O’Neill 2016)
The overuse of antibiotics in healthcare and agriculture is leading to the emergence of multi-resistant pathogens. Wastewater treatment plants, where antibiotic pollution is at its highest, play a critical role in this problem by promoting the development and spread of antibiotic resistance. Current monitoring methods lack speed, simplicity, affordability and accuracy. Our goal is to provide a simplified and accurate biosensor for quick and easy detection and to actively participate in the global fight against novel multi-resistant pathogens. Our biosensor, based on beta-lactam sensor proteins, triggers the expression of reporter genes upon antibiotic detection. We plan to increase its versatility by encapsulating it in alginate capsules and immobilising it on paper strips, and by carrying out mutation studies to detect different classes of antibiotics.